Mum and sis have headed north on a train today to the funeral of one of Mum’s sisters. The oldest, of whom I was very fond. I had offered to drive the 3.5 hours there to drop her off and then back as there is work tomorrow, but artist sis said she would train them both up. Sorry as I am to miss a family gathering, even a sombre one, the relief that I will not be behind the wheel for 7 hours or more today is great.
I dropped them at the station and then took doggo around the reservoir. What a glorious day. Few birds, gulls and a little grebe on the water. Lots of ground water as the rain has been relentless recently. Some cattle. Juno showed a nervous interest. They were more nosy and came near for a sniff. It was chilly and I love the cloud of breath coming from this solid brown beast. The Berwick Church houses murals done by some of the Bloomsbury group that lived in the area in World War II and after. Currently being renovated.
We came home to the electrician and his mate installing a heater in the office and now they have gone, there is just me and the sleeping dog. Solitude. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.
Long time, no post. It has been so busy and frankly, I have been a moody cow and could not be bothered to attempt to appear interesting or interested in much. To be fair, I have also had some of the best fun ever between the moody patches with my sisters and the WC, including a trip to ISTANBUL…..
Briefly, from long ago. the boobs are fine. All clear on that score. YES.
Youngest sister and I got a chance to hang out a bit after her mammoth European tour. We made it London, her first trip there and had a blast. The highlight was some mud-larking on the Thames river bank. At water level the city looks amazing. No great finds but it was fun.
We spent a lot of time thinking about our lives to date, both feeling that there must be something more than work, but with having relatively little in our respective pension pots to allow us to cut back at present not much can be done, However we have a plan, a la Frugal Queen and others to purchase a modest spot somewhere to retire to. It has really galvanised me and it has been an age since I felt so fired up.
So, I am saving hard and will continue to do extra shifts. There are many out there who advocate investing and creating a passive income, Nicola at The Frugal Cottage, is one. But remember there is ALWAYS risk and that decision about how much if any to take is based on individual choice. It is for me, worth considering.
After she went home we had a few blips here, mainly me running out of patience with life revolving around work and caring for an ageing parent full time. The trip to Istanbul was timely.
What a city, what a country, and the people are wonderful. (Food is too).
I have just said goodbye at our local station to one of the loveliest people on the planet. She lives in Japan and comes annually to the UK to see her family, and luckily, me. We have known each other for 18 years plus, and met in Yokohama, in the grounds of the kindergarten when my two were little.
With such a long history and having shared many of life’s up and downs (slight imbalance here as there have been a few of the latter lately), we tick along completely at ease. We listen to each other, laugh a lot and sometimes cry together.
This visit we have included mum in most of our outings. She has listened patiently to the stories, again and again sometimes. She gets on with four legged family members and the wonderful WC. We cooked, ate, walked, drank, poured over the local charity shops and went to the sea-side, twice. We also managed to squeeze in the entire first series of Killing Eve, not available in Japan.
There are times when I feel a bit friendless in this neck of the woods, but a few days like we have just had reminds me that even though they may not be close, good friends are always that.
Now, while this blog is called Gulls and Roses, very little has been written about the former. We have many, many Herring Gulls in the cul-de-sac and my gull fact is that, they NEVER sleep….All night they chortle and peep and call and mumble and it is relentless. All day they screech and squawk and they never seem to tire. I like them. They are magnificent to look at and the juveniles are sort of dopey rugby ball shaped things that do as little as they can for themselves. They also peep quite sweetly.
As much as I would like to photograph a few, there is no way I am going to entice them to come closer with a crust of bread. From a distance I will admire them and will wear ear-plugs at night.
So, 10 days into the month and the naval gazing has stopped. My lovely, fit friend E, directed me to YouTube for gym workout ideas. It’s inspired me. After just a couple of sessions I feel like a veritable gym bunny, a very sore one, but watch this space. In line with my efforts not to splurge out big money on gym gear other than good shoes, I found a suitable top at ASDA for a pittance, which I now wear to add to my allure….Just hoping that no-one recognises it as a pyjama top, which is it’s true intent…
The WC is off golfing for a few days and mum and I are collecting all the bits of paper and ID she needs to buy the flat. This has meant we have had to do overseas calls to banks and answer a myriad of questions. She gets flustered but she is doing very well.
Youngest sister is applying for her first British passport in about 45 years so I ordered birth and marriage certs from Northern Ireland for her. My grandmother appears as Minnie on one of them, although she was Mary.
It’s all go here. Even some reading and crochet too…..
We are now in the 7th month and it has been a busy year. Mum’s offer on the flat has been accepted and we are now in that odd limbo, like traffic at a roundabout, all giving way to the right, all waiting for someone to make the first move. Solicitor is in place, so maybe him?
Artist sister flew back to Sicily. I miss her and the dog is bereft. It’s now up to me to care for mum. I am still struggling to find a balance between feeling the need to involve her in all I do and making time for me/us.
Youngest moves into her new home today on the waterfront in Liverpool with her other half. Very exciting/excited for them both.
I have had some really interesting paediatrics training which has done much to address the true fear I feel when a tot appears in resus. It is a relief as well as being very interesting. I have also had training involving the wearing of a powered respiratory suit. Exciting but hoping never having to use one as the need for that would indicate something terrible has occurred.
Self indulgent behaviour i.e. copious consumption of prosecco and too much food has continued followed by naval gazing bouts of self pity and wallowing. Very unattractive. I keep thinking something has to give. But being a lazy git, I have begun to toy with the idea of a personal trainer. Yikes. Cost aside I fear he/she would MAKE ME WORK so it is still on the back burner. Really all I need to do is get that fat dog and myself either over to the seafront or up onto the downs for some pounding along tracks.
Today I am about to tackle some IRONING. My least favourite job, but I see it as character building. Then off to town before a quick nap as I have a string of night shifts starting.
The consultation and mammogram were delayed for one day due to staffing issues! Only 24 hours to wait and I was relaxed. The Dr was lovely, calm and reassuring. There is something there, although he says it does not feel sinister and may not even show up on the mammogram. Nevertheless, an ultrasound has been booked for two weeks’ hence while we wait for the first round of results.
There has been little time to dwell on anything. With artist sister here, there are many outings, much talking, cooking, eating and drinking. We have done some therapeutic walking and we have all been reading and sometimes even napping.
The summer solstice was yesterday, a glorious sunny day, which has continued. We are thinking of a walk on the downs this evening.
We made an offer on a flat for mum in a place that ticks just about every box. However, we offered far less than the owners want, although still a lot more than the going price for similar properties in the town. The agents have advised them to accept, but we have not heard back.
Sometimes one has a GP that really engages and asks questions and listens. I was lucky to meet a young woman who was professional, practical, and proactive. She conducted a thorough examination followed by a barrage of questions. To her it looks benign. I thought it might have been inflammatory breast cancer, which is a nasty one to have if you are going to get breast cancer. But, she has not ruled it out, saying that her fingers cannot do x-rays! So now waiting for a mammogram.
I just felt better that she did not poo-poo my concerns. I am in the age range. I have the symptoms. I lost a cousin to breast cancer. I drink too much etc.
I went to the gym in the afternoon and loved it. Mum and I then went out to the pub for a change and things started to feel less stressful.
I am crocheting again. (Socks not forgotten but I wanted something rhythmical and soothing which does not require a lot of deep thought).
Some nurses admit to self-diagnosing themselves with horrendous ailments. A colleague told me that every time she gets a headache she is convinced it is a tumour. It’s catching. I have convinced myself that I may have breast cancer. Tomorrow I see a GP, even though it is Saturday, the receptionist at my surgery found me an appointment sooner rather than later.
By writing it down, I hope to alleviate some of my own fears. There is no intention to worry any readers (you in Japan xxx especially). But I thought it important. Whatever the outcome, the message is not to ignore unusual signs and symptoms. It has taken me some weeks to get this far, but the ball is rolling. Will be back with an update.